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February 1, 2013


On Thayer’s way to defining exactly what the Pentagon’s relationship with American society was in the 1960s, he necessarily had to establish a contrast with how other arms-producing countries went about imposing their products on client countries and the world’s weapon’s market in general.

And the one common trait that the US, Great Britian and France shared as main world arms sellers of that day, was, foremost and above all, secrecy.

Although France, for example, had more political objectives in its sales policies than just hard-core revenue results (which is exactly the style Thayer says the Pentagon as the “Imperial Wizard” of world arms sales had), all countries in this sense operated clearly beyond what could have been considered the public policies of their respective governments and executive administrations.

Because all these countries had to deal with this one underlying problem: that the power of jet-fighters, for instance, could be publicly flaunted as consumer product and as an elite power toy to entice perspective client countries; but under no circumstances could you actually make its true destructive and killing power the object of public spectacle and demonstration.

This was, according to Thayer, a natural and limiting circumstance of morality with regards to these consumer products and their marketing and sale; and it is, for me, an important sign of the humaneness of humanity that always, it seems, gets in the way, in the end, of greed and the human will to imposition through money as power.

But there were no countries as ruthless, in the world weapons trade, as the US and France; the US because of a McNamara-Ford Motor Company drive to systemic efficiency as sales machine, and because of a most sofistiquée lack of scruples on the part of France to sell even to Eastern Block countries if it could!

But Thayer says the case of Britain was different.

And he uses the comparison between the Rapier (Britian) and the Mauler (US) antiaircraft missiles.

And basically it was the Pentagon’s selling strategies in the form of free weapons and military equipment and low interest loans as financial products it could offer to countries in order to finance long term arms purchases that made the Pentagon, in fact, the hub of world arms sales, and what, in the end allowed it to impose itself and its vested economic interests on the empirical reality of weapons research and technology itself.

And this was the case with English Electric, the company that designed the Rapier, and that, even after loosing its government funding when the British Government-Military decided to commit to the purchase of the US-made Mauler, continued to develop its product knowing full well that it was superior-in its simplicity and tactical value as an optical-tracking, direct hit missile capable of reaching Mach 3 speed in order to shoot down an enemy jet.

And eventually the British government/Military in fact cancelled its commitment with the Pentagon and its Mauler missile; and so formidable was the Rapier, that eventually the British government/Military offered it to the Pentagon for sale as the superior product that it was.

And this is what for Thayer brings out the true nature of the Pentagon in its drive to commercial dominance and market control, in disregard, in fact, for bigger and more serious political questions; and the British government/Military was snubbed and, eventually ignored in regards to its superior missile, for just as individuals within the British scientific-mitilary complex as arms industry had made known to Thayer, with the Pentagon everything is fine as long you are buying from them, which is, in the end, and behind all the crap and rhetoric as facade, the only relationship with you they will engage in.

And here is a direct quote form Thayer as a summary of what for me is most reprobatory about, not only the arms trade, but in regards to the relationship between society and the free-market culture of the Harvard MBA and his de facto iron boot over the possibility itself of social evolution now and in the future:

“Selling arms for balance of payments reasons is clearly the least defensible of all the U.S.’s arms sales objectives. It is an attempt to apply a business objective-the maximization of profits-to a field of endeavor where the dividends paid upon the success of such a policy are not necessarily in cash. It  might be justifiable to the stockholders of the Ford Motor Company, but the rationalization cannot be applied ipso facto to the stockholders in mankind.

Taken at its face value, the policy implies that the United States is more interested in dollars than it is in the control of arms or the maintenance of peace. It implies that what weapons are sold and how they might be used are of secondary importance.” (pg.254, The War Buisness)

See now why The War Business is out of print, and that there is not a single reference to George Thayer on the Internet other than the title of his books?

I shit you not!

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